And To Think That I Saw Bees On Mulberry Street

I was just going through an old hard drive when I came across some pictures of one of the odder things I think I’ve ever come across scouting…


Last August, I was scouting around Little Italy when I suddenly noticed a crowd of people forming at the corner of Mulberry & Grand.


On closer inspection, it appeared they were engulfed in a cloud of bees…


…who had suddenly grown quite attached to this postal box:


According to later news reports, the sudden swarm was most likely due to a hive becoming overcrowded, and the queen and her workers abandoning it to find a new home. An NYPD-sanctioned beekeeper arrived a few hours later, removed the queen, then set about scooping up the remaining 15,000 bees to be relocated to Queens.


Of course, in true New York fashion, absolutely no one showed the slightest bit of fear – or in some cases, even notice – of the swarm, and soon, it became the thing to wander up about a foot away as if you’d been tending beehives your entire lives.


So of course, I had to too.


Wish the bees had stayed, but I get it. I don’t think I could live in such a touristy neighborhood either.


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  1. Actually, I’m surprised that people didn’t freak out a little since so many New Yorkers I’ve known are weirded out by bugs that aren’t roaches.

  2. Goes without saying: Queens belong in Queens.

  3. I think I recognize that mailbox from Mean Streets…am I right?

  4. Disguting, I hate bees.

  5. Looks like a box of live bees broke open in the mail. My Dad used to keep bees when I was a kid. When he got new hives the bee supply companies would ship the bees in a in a 8x12x6 inch box. The queen bee would be in a smaller box with a sugar cube blocking the exit. He would place the box in the upper level box of a 2 box empty starter hive. The exit to the shipping box was blocked by a sugar plug. My dad would feed the bees abou 1 liter of sugar water as the would be dehydrated by being in the mail for 4-5 days and that evening would move the box to the hive. Over the next day or two the bees would eat the sugar plus and let themselves out of the shipping box. The hive would settle in the hive as they would not leave the queen in the inner box until she had eater her own way out. If they where not anchored for the first 10 days or so the would be a 50/50 chance they would leave their new bee box for a hollow tree or such.
    My Dad always got a phone call when the buzzing box came to the town post office with a request to come down right now to pick up his package. The post master was real eager to have it out of the building. The post office has special shipping rules for live agriculter shipping. Live chick, bees, live plants(trees,shrubs,grape vines ect are often root grafted and shipped a foot or two high stage), and some others to help rural farmers. Used to be the only affordable way to ship in new stock was via the post office as many commercial shipper would not ship to rural areas in the 18,19, and early 20th century.